St. Maarten Airport spreads love on Valentine’s Day

POSTED: 02/15/13 1:38 PM

St. Maarten – Arriving and departing passengers and other users were pleasantly surprised yesterday, when the airport firemen turned cupids as they gave out candies and roses, with their bows and arrows slung around their necks.

Decked appropriately in white T-shirts with red lettering, many of the cadet firefighters were in high spirits as they spread the love at the meet and greet area of the arrival hall, and later upstairs at the departure hall, where saxophonist Connis Vanterpool played music.

Music was indeed the food of love as love ballads filled the air at the arrival hall, where the pianist from Soprano’s Piano Bar entertained the people. He also provided lucky passengers with gift certificates for dinner for two at Soprano’s restaurant. A Valentine’s Day booth was also set up in the meet-and-greet area where flowers and teddy bears were on sale.

“It is the second year we have organized this event and it is obviously becoming bigger and better,” Senior Business Development Officer at PJIAE, Audrey Jack said.

“This is a very nice gesture, I didn’t expect it,” St. Maarten resident Mariel Smith said, who received a bag of gifts from L’Occitane, one of the booths at airport participating in the Valentine’s Day promotion.

Sally and Chris Maro, a couple which have been visiting the island for more than 15 years, were   winners of a gift certificate worth $100 from Ama Bella, a store that sells luxury items. “This is fantastic,” they said, as they received the envelope containing the gift certificate from Ama store manager, Pradeep Tewani.

Similar sentiments were expressed by Rev. Vernon Liburd, arriving with his wife Eunelda, after winning a beautiful gift basket from Penha. “This is a total surprise,” Liburd said. “We certainly weren’t expecting this.”

Penny and Joe Schmidt, an American couple who have been visiting the island for the past 23 years were sad to be leaving, but elated to have won another gift certificate from Ama Jewelers, which they were able to redeem before their flight was called.

“We’re taking a bit of St. Maarten sunshine back home with us and now some glitz also,” Penny Schmidt said. Her husband had one word for the Valentine’s Day surprise: “fantastic.”

“We choose the winners randomly,” Manager, Marketing & Communications at the airport, Kalifa Hickinson explained. Hickinson announced the additional winners of the other give aways.

Carmen Tyson, a resident of St. Maarten who was en route to New York, received a necklace from Capri Italian Fashion just after clearing security at the departure hall.

According to Hickinson, Mr. and Mrs. Leonardo Haynes of St. Eustatius were the lucky winners of a trip for two to any destination Air Sunshine services. Air Sunshine is the newest addition to the scheduled carriers at the airport. It began service on February 1, and flies to Tortola, Virgin Gorda, St. Thomas, San Juan and Dominica.

“Our Valentine’s Day promotion is another event we hope will make the ‘experience move you’ at the airport,” Hickinson added.


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